Step back in time with Elizabethan Weekend

Three ladies in Elizabethan costume in a circle wearing fairy masks and wings.

Join us for a weekend filled with Elizabethan entertainment. Come and experience the sights, sounds and smells as the Abbey is transformed into a Tudor mansion with falconers on the lawn, dancing in the Great hall and cooking in the kitchen and much much more!

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September, Buckland Abbey hosts its annual Elizabethan celebration. Throughout the weekend, visitors can join in authentic Elizabethan merriment that would have been frequent entertainment at Buckland Abbey, Sir Francis Drake’s former home.

Buckland Abbey will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the Elizabethan era, with falconers on the lawn, dancing in the Great Hall and Tudor cooking over an open fire in The Abbey’s kitchen.

Tudor music
Two people dressed in Tudor clothing playing tudor instruments under a period tent
Tudor music

The Tudors were passionate about the sport of English Falconry, but none more so than King Henry VIII who was often absent from Court because he had gone hawking. On The Abbey lawn, Raphael Historic Falconry will delight audiences with period falconry displays sharing the excitement of flying majestic birds of prey.

Elizabethan falconry at Buckland Abbey
Elizabethan falconry at Buckland Abbey
Elizabethan falconry at Buckland Abbey

The Great Hall will be alive with music and colour. Renaissance Historical Dance group will lead traditional dancing to re-enact the days of the flamboyant Sir Francis Drake and the lavish parties we know often took place in The Abbey. 

No Tudor party would be complete without merry music and fine food.  Traditional songs of the era will be performed by hautbois musicians playing historic instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy, and the ladies of the kitchen will reveal their secrets of historic cookery.

Pancake making in the kitchen of Buckland Abbey
Pancake making in the kitchen of Buckland Abbey
Pancake making in the kitchen of Buckland Abbey

The Elizabethans loved all things myths and legends. Masked costumed characters such as The Green Man, Old Father Time and The Ice Queen will perform plays where the audience will be weaved into a masked fairy tale full of adventure called ‘The masque of the four seasons’. 

Plan your day

11.30 Dancing in the Great Hall

12.15 Music display in front of the abbey

1.00 Falconry on the main lawn

1.45 Second chance to listen to some Tudor beats

2.15 Masked Fairytale Play - in the Great Hall

3.00 Falconry Display - last chance of the day.

3.45 Dust off your dancing shoes for the last dance performance